“We love God’s Word, and we make every effort to seek out the truth in it’s pages. Truth and knowing the God of truth is more important to us than traditional dogma, what we have been taught growing up, or what we want to believe about God. We are here to be pleasing to God, believe, and teach the truth, not to be pleasing to men, confirm error, or continue contradiction.”
Who are you here to please? Where does your allegiance belong? Should we compromise the Word of God to please men, please an organization, political expediency, or any other reason?
These were questions that I believe the Lord was working out within me while I was in Tulsa. The quote above, I wrote it after a long, difficult time where I had to decide between my King and men. I am here to please Jesus. My allegiance is at His feet. And I will never compromise the Word for anyone or any reason.
The beginning of this decision came when I was working on affiliating with the organization that sent me to Tulsa to start a church. I was put into a corner and forced to make a decision on a particular point of doctrine. And through the experience, I see how important it is now that I cling to Christ rather than other men despite the consequences.
Due to refusing to affirm this point of doctrine, the board of my home church voted to “unordain” me. I did respond in writing. I can see my brokenness in the letter three years later, and the unordination was like a hammer that further shattered someone who had already been broken. I remember giving away all of our equipment that we had purchased for the new plant to the church we joined after things did not work out. It was like giving away hopes and dreams. It was a moment of deep sorrow.
I recognize now that through brokenness and the shattering of painful events in life, it opens the heart that loves Christ to His divine hand and work. He is the sculptor and we are His stone that He is shaping. All of our failures, mistakes, poor decisions, and flaws open our eyes to the fact that it is only through Christ and the Holy Spirit that we find the ability to glorify Him. He strips away the portions that are based in sin like pride, hubris, arrogance, self reliance, or selfish ambition. We learn humility, patience, and reliance on Christ among so many lessons. This short life is a time of learning where we will be taught to value and truly understand that Jesus has infinite worth. He is everything.
While in the Tulsa area we attended two churches where we found great fellowship in Christ. We met a lot of wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ, and I served in several ministries. I very much enjoyed being part of a church choir, and that was my first experience in an organized musical group. I taught quite a bit as well, and I was able to get a few recordings from this time period. The Lord took care of us despite ourselves, and he taught me many lessons. He moved my family and I back to Houston in 2009.
It took us a long time to find a church, and we visited quite a few. We joined a big church in our area, and during that time period my son accepted the Lord. It was a wonderful moment in my life, and another was when I was able to baptize him myself. A large number of friends and family attended, and then we all had a nice lunch together. It was a great day.
April 2015 – Update
Once we moved back, I began to focus on Hold the Line and writing. I wrote three books, one is a nonfiction Christian book, God’s Salvation. I put together a teaching series as well with the same name. We prefer a smaller church, so we changed to a church that we attended for well over a year. But, a change of leadership caused us to find another because my doctrine was not in line with the new pastor. That never works out when the core of the Gospel is incompatible.
We’ve been at our current church for well over two years, and we are serving in ministry as God directs. It is a small church with a great family of believers. God has taken care of us through our jobs (which were seeded in Tulsa), and we are walking with the Lord among other believers here in our community. The Lord has blessed me with a great life, and while my heart is still burning to serve the Lord full time, I am content to remain hidden in His secret place waiting on Him. I know that I will fulfill the ministry God has given me up to this point and whatever is coming in the future.