Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alcohol Consumption Part 2

Growing up in the Southern Baptist tradition of the Christian faith I was always taught that consuming alcohol was sinful and I myself thought the same for years. It was only upon maturing in Christ and careful study of the Bible that I came to a different conclusion. I myself fall into the category of the third emerging group that I described in part one of this post. I agree with Mark Driscoll who says, “I personally long for the return to the glory days of Christian pubs when God’s men gather to drink beer and talk theology.”

Although I only used four Scriptures, there are numerous more that could be cited in regards to alcohol consumption. And not to allow any confusion, I am in agreement that the Bible does set up clear instances when it would be sinful to drink and to abstain for the moment is the right choice, which are often Scripture references cited against those who hold to my view. I also recognize the Bible talks of the sin of drunkenness and the many problems it leads to, which I am again in full agreement.

Deuteronomy 14:26 is a time when the Bible refers to happiness as an occasion to drink alcohol in moderation. In Psalm 104:14-15 it is God who allows the wine to come forth to gladden the heart of man. John 2:1-11, the most popular quoted passage when the subject of alcohol comes up between Christians, which is why I hesitated using it; but when looking at one of the first recorded miracles you cannot take that away. This passage even refers to the people being able to drink freely and that the wine Jesus made was better than the “good wine” that had been served at the beginning. I believe this miracle has probably been abused on both sides of the argument, but the scripture is clear when it says that the water had now been turned to wine. It does not say grape juice or something resembling the color of wine, but wine and good wine at that not the kind of stuff that comes in a cardboard box.1 Corinthians 10:31 is perhaps the key passage for those in the third group of moderation. I want to make sure whatever I am doing or consuming can be done to the glory of God.

As Martin Luther pointed out there are many things or objects in life that men abuse, but that does not necessarily mean they should be abolished. Many men use the computer to look at pornography, but I doubt I could find many Christians who would be willing to throw away their computers. John Calvin is right that alcohol is a precious gift from God and should be treated in a precious manner, therefore it is sad to see the abuses of it and how it destroys people’s lives.

I believe there will always be the two extremes mentioned in the American context. It encourages me to see this third emerging group that holds to moderation within a biblical context to glorify God. My prayer is that this position will not be abused as the other two have been for years, but that it is one that will be embraced by those who do hold to one of the other views through a careful study of the scriptures instead of basing their view on what their particular tradition has always taught them.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alcohol Consumption Part 1 of 2

Alcohol consumption is an issue of extremes within the church, specifically in an American context. On one side of the issue you have those who hold that any form of alcohol consumption is wrong. On the other side of the issue you have those who embrace alcohol consumption, see no problem with it, and even find no problem with getting drunk.

Alcohol consumption is an important issue for Christians to address because the issue is not as black and white as some would like to make it. Although, there is a third group emerging that would agree with the first group in that there are forms of alcohol consumption that are wrong such as getting drunk, but they would also agree with the second group in that it is okay to consume alcohol. The distinguishing marks of this third group would be that they see no problem in the consumption of alcohol as long as it is done so in a manner of moderation with a clear conscience where they feel they are following the Biblical model and able to glorify God in so doing.

Relevant Sources of Authority
Scripture Passages:
“And spend the money for whatever you desire-oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.” (Deuteronomy 14:26)

“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man…” (Psalm 104:14-15)

Jesus turns the water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Verse 10 says, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:1-11)

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)

Influential Quotes:
“[D]o not find fault with the wine, but with the drunkenness…wine was given, that we might be cheerful, not that we might behave ourselves unseemly…” John Chrysostom

“Do you suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused? Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?” Martin Luther.

“It is a shameful abuse of a noble and most precious gift of God.” John Calvin.

“Temperance referred not specifically to drink, but to all pleasures; and it meant not abstaining, but going the right length and no further.” C.S. Lewis

Tomorrow will conclude the five part ethical series of the blog and will conclude with my own position on alcohol consumption in the life of a believer. Feedback would be appreciated.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CHRISTIAN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND AIDS Part 2

By looking at the Scripture references alone there is no question that there is a cultural mandate to take care and rule over creation. In my opinion, Christians should be involved with as many social areas of justice as possible. The reason we should be involved being that each of these areas gives us a platform for the spread of the gospel.

John Piper says, “The fact that any of us is healthy after sinning is owing to Christ’s mercy.” In other words it is only by the mercy and grace of God that any one of us is not facing one of these social issues such as poverty or a disease such as aids, and in fact some of us as followers of Christ are facing these issues. Piper concludes that this requires an extraordinary mercy on the part of Christians.

It is important to remember that just as Christ offered us grace that we did not deserve, so we too should be willing to be gracious to the world around us. Whether that is the homeless person on the corner near our home or the person with aids in our city or the person in Africa. It is sometimes easy to forget that it is Christ and him alone who give us a hope to believe in and that we should be willing to offer that same hope to the world around us. One way of offering that hope is through taking social responsibility and participating in the solution for diseases such as aids.

This is one area where the church at large is behind the “world” at large. It seems like actors, athletes, and musicians have made acts of social justice and fighting against the aids epidemic a popular trend that people at least on the surface believe in. Although, this trend in general is a good thing and doing some good, it is missing the key aspect of the gospel. It is a good thing to help people around the world, but if that is all that we do then their relief will only be temporary as they will be eternally separated from God without the message of the gospel.

It is important to note that although I believe the church should be as involved with as many social areas as possible, if the end result is only the involvement then they are the same as those outside the church and in the end it is only accomplishing something that is temporary. My prayer and hope is that God will allow followers of him to be raised up as researchers, medical professionals, and thousands of caring individuals that reach out to their own communities and the nations by taking social responsibility to care for the poor, provide clean water for those without, find cures for diseases, and offer a better life not only here, but also an eternal hope for the future.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

CHRISTIAN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND AIDS Part 1 of 2

Considering we live in a fallen world it does not take one long to look around and recognize the endless number of social issues that exists in America and around the world. These issues range from poverty and unclean water to disease. One major issue that is recognized globally that has risen to the status of an epidemic is that of aids.

This raises some questions for the church. Is there a biblical call or mandate for the church to reach out and help with social issues? If so, which ones? Are there any limitations? And how far should the church go?

Christians are generally on board with reaching out socially, but there is a mix of opinions answering the questions posed above. Some Christians believe that social justice should be the church’s main focus and the way in which the love of Christ is shown. Other Christians believe that while we should care about social justice issues that it should not be our main focus, but come secondary as a means to leverage the gospel. In regards to aids, some Christians react harshly stating that it is God's judgement on certain individuals; while other Christians see it as another area of life that we are called to reach out and love our world doing what we can to be like Christ.

Relevant Sources of Authority
Scripture Passages:
“..And fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves the earth.” (Genesis 1:28b)

“But a Samaritan, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” (Lk 10:33-34)

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:9-10)

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)

Influential Quotes:
“The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage as which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice.” C.S. Lewis

“The goods of the churches should be employed for the good of the poor.” Thomas Aquinas Summa

“It is a reproach to religion and government to suffer so much poverty and excess…” William Penn

"God mercifully sets out to heal all of the destruction wrought by man in the fall, and we see this story of redemption unfold throughout Scripture. Mercy ministry primarily seeks to redeem physical and social destruction, but is often carried out as a window to spiritual and theological redemption." Tim Keller

Once again this is just a general look at the problem in regards to responsibility of Christians in regards to social justice and what answer we give to the world with issues such as the aids epidemic. Part 2 will contain my position on the topic.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Global Warming and The Environment Part 2

Although I admittedly carried around the attitude often heard from Christians for not caring for the environment for a long time, I now see the importance of it from Scripture. I believe all Christians should have some care for the environment. For some this will be their passion or platform in which they spread the gospel truth. For others this will not be their main concern, but it will be one aspect of their life in which they can speak to the culture through their involvement. I do think it is important to note that although we are called to care for the environment, it must be remembered that it is not the number one thing that we are called to.

The passage dealing with Genesis 1:26-31 are probably some of the most cited verses for the basis of why believers should care for environmental issues as it should be. Genesis is the best place in my opinion to look for a reason to show concern and care for this creation that God created. Psalm 89:11 establishes that the earth and its resources all belong to God, but that He has chosen to entrust them to man. Therefore we should show care of them as God would. The Colossians passage used reveals that everything created is for God and his purpose, which to me should give Christians an implication that we should be concerned with environmental issues as it not only gives God glory, but also gives us a platform with our culture to share about our Creator and His story.

In the last couple of years a group of Southern Baptist leaders have created a declaration on the environment and climate change, which I am in full agreement. This declaration consists of four main points. First, humans must care for creation and take responsibility for our contributions to environmental degradation. Second, it is prudent to address global climate change. Third, Christian moral convictions and our Southern Baptist doctrines demand our environmental stewardship. Fourth, it is time for individuals, churches, communities, and governments to act.

It is difficult for me to see how one is showing glory to God when we ignore the environment or show care for it. Many people use the argument that it will all be destroyed one day anyway, but to me God never commands us to be flippant with His creation, but to care for it. Those who are not using caring for the environment as their basis for life, but showing care for it under the command of God encourage me. This has larger implications than within our own circles, but it is one area in which the world will not listen to anything else we say based on our own ignorance of caring for the creation. If anything, we should thank those in the world who do care for the creation, apologize for our ignorance, and explain how they can follow the God who created this creation they care so deeply for. In other words we can redirect their potential worship for the creation to the creator God.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Global Warming and The Environment Part 1 of 2

This is the third part of the five part ethic series that I am doing. Part three deals with the environment and what Christians are called to do with issues such as "global warming."Global warming and the environment is a matter of creation cares. The problem is two fold as it is one that the culture at large is recognizing, but the church has ignored. Because the culture is recognizing the problem it is becoming something that Christians can no longer ignore just based on the fact that we are part of the culture at large. It is now an issue incorporated to many areas of life such as the place of work, the way our homes are designed, the cars we drive, and of course the politicians we elect into office.

One problem for Christian’s involvement is “global warming” because it is still has not been proven. The attitude that is commonly heard is something similar to, “Well God is in control anyway so who cares about this non-existent global warming anyway.” Although there is a valid point in it being proven it does not portray the accurate attitude of a follower of Christ. We should be involved in every form of culture including an issue such as “global warming.” If a Christians voice is not represented then we have no right to complain on the outcomes that everyone else comes up with as a means to tackle the problem. Although it has not been proven one cannot deny that there is something going on in the environment around us and we appear ignorant when we ignore that.

Relevant Sources of Authority
Scripture Passages:
“God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was good…” (Genesis 1:31)

“The heavens are yours; the earth is also yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.” (Psalm 89:11)

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether the thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

Influential Quotes:
“The whole creation which was made by the Son, the Father made by His Word.” -Augustine of Hippo

Let everyone regard himself as the steward of God in all things which he possesses. Then he will neither conduct himself dissolutely, nor corrupt by abuse those things which God requires to be preserved. -John Calvin

“The very simple meaning of what Moses says, therefore, is this: Everything that is, was created by God.” -Martin Luther

Part two will hopefully be posted tomorrow. Its funny because my wife and I both agree that we as followers of Christ should care for the environment, but we disagree on global warming, but I find that we are coming to an agreement on how to respond to the issue in a way that honors Christ.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence Part 2

As a follower of Christ I find it very difficult to maintain the idea of ever using nuclear weapons. In my opinion I never see where a believer could justify using such a means. Some might attempt to bunch this in with an issue such as capital punishment, but weapons of mass destruction are on a level of their own.

Personally I believe ones interpretation of the great commission in Matthew 28:16-20 will ultimately determine a believers stance on the use of nuclear weapons and deterrence. I for one take seriously the great commission and see a mandate to go to the nations with the goal of making disciples that will glorify the name of Christ. Using nuclear weapons and deterrence is basically on the opposite spectrum because it is something that would not only attack and kill terrorists for example, but also annihilate entire societies. John Piper brings out the fact that it would be participating in the killing of millions of image bearers of God that He created to worship Him.

Another way to look at this is that in general followers of Christ are adamantly against the killing of innocent lives, which is one reason that Christians oppose abortion. Just as it would not be justifiable to kill thousands to millions of innocent babies, it should not be justifiable to take thousands to millions of innocent lives in the form of a nuclear weapon, just because it would also kill the bad guys. In regard to the killing of thousands to millions of innocent lives, the two should not be inseparable, but use the same reasoning as to why neither should be encouraged in the life of a believer.

I do not believe that it takes too much convincing for most Christians to see that it is not permissible to use nuclear weapons, but this does not fully address the issue of a country obtaining nuclear weapons. The argument that is often employed is that by a country obtaining such a weapon of deterrence will be enough in itself to help protect a country from any threat of equal status from an opposing source, but does this argument hold up in the life of a believer?

In order for this argument to hold up I believe one has to belittle God because in essence you are saying that he is not fully in control. J.I. Packer points out that in the mind of man we look to our “rulers” of the leading country in the world for all the answers and fears of what will take place in the world, but it is important to remember that God is the one who is sovereign and in control, determining the outcome of everything. By trusting in God’s sovereignty we should not ultimately fear the rulers or nations with such capabilities.

Piper also points out that when looking at the Noahic covenant it suggests that God will not allow a “nuclear holocaust” leaving only a few people to start again. Although the Noahic covenant is obviously referring to the flooding of the earth, the implications in Genesis 9:21 appears to take us beyond only a flood. This is not to imply that the world will not have its own end because it will, but by being replaced with a new heavens and a new earth as described in Scripture.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nuclear Weapons and Deterrence Part 1 of 2

The subject of nuclear weapons and deterrence is not a new phenomenon as it has been used in regards to war since the Cold War. Although it is generally referred to in discussions around war, it really falls into a category of its own based on the seriousness of the topic. It cannot be treated as an issue that simply falls under the umbrella of war, but it is its own umbrella.

The general problem is that there is such a thing as nuclear weapons and/or the potential for them. The idea of nuclear weapons goes much further than taking the life of an individual in war to taking out the society at large. This has huge implications when thinking of the great commission and going to the nations. Some Christians might try to justify them by referring to the end times, but this should cause all believers to take a step back and take a closer and deeper look into the Scripture.

Relevant Sources of Authority
Scripture Passages:
“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” (Genesis 9:6)

“And when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction.” (Deuteronomy 7:2)

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

“But if you do wrong, be afraid, for her does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:4b)

Influential Quotes:
“The indiscriminate annihilation of thousands or millions of God’s image bearers is such a blatant assault on God and his revealed will that Christians must not share in the act.” John Piper

“Neither pacifism nor nonpacifism, if either is suggested as a workable technique, is adequate to handle the situation created by weapons of great power.” Edward Leroy Long, Jr.

“If those who use any nuclears in any way in any war will have God against them, God is against the possession of all these weapons right now for deterrence.” Paul Ramsey

“Think, today, of Clinton and Saddam Hussein. Do you suppose that it is really these top men who determine which way the world shall go? Think again, for God is greater than the world’s great men.” J.I. Packer

The issue of nuclear weapons remains, the question is what we do about them now? Part two will contain my position and I would like to know yours.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Torture in an age of terrorism Part 2

III. Position Statement
In order to be transparent, I must admit that this is one issue as an American and a follower of Christ that I had not given much thought to leading into this post. Typically people have their opinion on an issue at the flip of a coin, but the issue of torture on individuals is not quite that simple. First, it is an issue that I know exists, but one that I have never given much thought too. Second, the only form I have ever seen first hand is that in the movies, which in some ways desensitizes me to the reality that there is places that torture is actually happening. But not giving much thought to an issue and being desensitized to its reality does not pardon me from taking a position on torture.

Especially because the society today is dealing more often with the topic of war, terrorism, and torture gives me all the more reason to be ready to give an answer to those around me. I find it difficult for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ to easily justify torture. We are referring to following the God of love so it seems almost impossible to claim to follow Him in one breath and talk of torturing a person whom He created in another breath.

In general I do not believe that torture is something that should be used in an age of terrorism, but under extreme very specific cases I do see it as permissible. Although, this does need to be nuanced as there would need to be a clear definition of what a specific case would be allowing for an act of torture when dealing with terrorism. In addition there would need to be specific requirements on the type of torture and to what degree it would be taken.

One might question how it is ever permissible and for that I will turn to the “Just War Theory” as my means of doing so. Although, most would say that no means of torture would be justifiable by the just war theory, I believe that it can be, but that it needs to be fleshed out. The best means for doing that I believe are using the Jus Ad Bello Criteria under the just war theory. (Scott B. Rae, Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 3rd ed., 2009), 314.)

First, the torture must be prompted by a just cause. Second, the torture must have a just intention. Third, torture must be engaged as a last resort. Fourth, torture must be initiated with a formal declaration by properly constituted authorities. As can be seen this is a delicate issue that must be handled as such. Based on these requirements I cannot foresee torture as a regularly occurring practice in a time of war. In addition to having very specific requirements, the torture itself must be limited to only go so far and determined before ever beginning. This protects the human life being dealt with and does not allow for it to go further than necessary or out of spite of the situation.

Hebrews 11:35 would be a situation in which torture should definitely cease. In the case of Hebrews it is referring to being persecuted on the behalf of Christ, but it is no secret that there are terrorist out there willingly to die in the name of Allah. Upon realization of discernment of this then if torture does not cease it becomes a different issue dealing with the heart of the one inflicting the torture on an individual.

Recognizably so this is in no way an exhaustive look at the issue of torture, but more of a brief look in order to begin thinking through the issue myself and prompt others to do the same.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Torture in an age of terrorism Part 1 of 2

*Today will start a 5 part series of some ethical stances that will each contain 2 parts*

I. The Problem:
Although, not a new issue, before 9/11 not many Americans thought much about terrorism, including those within the church, but since that terrorist attack it has been an issue surrounding society with the “Global War on Terror”. It is read daily in the newspaper, seen in movies, and used as a reason to vote for a particular political candidate. Now, that terrorism is something people think of more often, the issue of using the means of torture on potential terrorists is another factor that people must ethically deal with.

Generally Christians are on two sides of torture. One group believes that in order to “love your neighbor as yourself” then it would never be permissible to use torture. The other group believes that it should be avoided if possible, but if there were a threat of a major terrorist attack then it would be an instance where it is permissible to use torture.

II. Relevant Sources of Authority
A. Relevant Scripture:
“And when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show them no mercy.” (Deuteronomy 7:2)

“Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” (John 11:50)

“But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:4b)

“Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.” (Hebrews 11:35b)

B. Influential Quotes
“The absolute conviction that their cause is just…may encourage combatants to override the moral limits of war or to neglect other equally weighty moral considerations…” A.J. Coats, The Ethics of War (New York: Manchester University Press, 1997), 146.

“From my own study of Scripture I would say that to refuse to do what I can for those who are under the power of oppressors is nothing less than the failure of Christian love. It is to refuse to love my neighbor as myself.” Francis Schaeffer, Vladimir Butovsky, and James Hitchcock, Who is For Peace? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983), 23.

“They who have waged war in obedience to the divine command, or in conformity with His laws, have represented in their persons the public justice or the wisdom of government, and in this capacity have put to death wicked men; such persons have by no means violated the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill.”’ Augustine, City of God, ed. Philip Schaff, vol. 2 of Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers (Buffalo: The Christian Literature Company, 1887), 15.

“The Exodus 21:24 instruction of ‘an eye for an eye’ is meant to be a limiting factor in the expression of retaliatory force. Only what is necessary and appropriate to a given scenario.” Mark Liederbach, Evaluating the “Caiaphas Ethic” of Charles Krauthammer http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/mark-liederbach-on-torture/ (accessed November 2, 2010)

So the question remains, is it torture ever permissible? Part 2 will contain my position on the issue. Any thoughts?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

25 Years of Life!

Tomorrow I turn 25, which for many represents a milestone of a birthday. So I decided that I would make a list breaking down the years of my life leading up to 25 of something significant that has happened to shape me over these 25 years:

1985-1990: Born into the Boyd family, first words, walked
1990-1995:Graduated K-5, Became a follower of Christ!
1995-2000:Matured in Christ, Surrendered to full-time ministry
2000-2005:Graduated highschool, started college, 1st Argentina visit, met Andrea!
2005-2010:Summer in Argentina, engaged, graduated college, married Andrea, started my masters

The things I am most looking forward to in the next five years that will take me into 30:
2010-2015:Baby Boyd 1, Long-term Missions in South Asia, Finishing my Masters, Baby Boyd 2&3, North American Church Plant

Monday, November 8, 2010

In the pasture allowing God to prepare me!

Most of you know that for the past year I have worked for Starbucks. Not a bad company, decent benefits, and at the moment how God is providing for my family. You also know that it is not what I prefer to be doing or you may have even heard the phrase "I hate working for Starbucks" come out of my mouth. Although, I know this attitude does not necessarily go away over night, I have a new perspective on things now.

At The Summit Church we are studying through the book of 1 Samuel in a series titled "Search for a King." This past weekend we studied chapter 16 on David being anointed as king and I recognized some things about this story that I had not really paid much attention to before that allowed me to have this new perspective for where I am in life.

Verse 7 is key in understanding this passage as we see that what the world and God are looking for in a leader are two totally different things. Although, this verse is key it is not what had the most impact on me. If you look at verse 12b it says, "Then the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." Verse 13 says, "...And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward."

But what really sticks out to me in this passage is the gap between verse 13 and 14. David had just been anointed as king, the Spirit of the Lord had rushed upon him, and he is now back in the pasture where he was before any of that happened so that God could prepare him. My pastor, J.D. Greear(jdgreear.com), had us fill in that blank space between those two verses with the following words: obscurity, monotony, and reality. This truth definitely struck a chord in me as I feel that this is something I have been dealing with for sometime now.

I am not saying that God has set me apart as he did David because it is unlikely that you or I would ever be able to fill the role that David did as he had a unique role in this story. But I do know that God has called me to serve Him in a clear way and that 12 years ago I publicly recognized and surrendered to that call. Honestly over the last 12 years I have been along for the ride, but the last couple of years wondered and questioned at times why I am where I am in life as I look back 12 years ago.

I now fully recognize that God has been and is preparing me for what it is He has for me and part of that preparation process is being in the pasture of obscurity, monotony, and reality. And Just as with David, God has recently showed me what it is He has been preparing me for, but for now I still need some time in the pasture.