What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Choice Is Yours UPDATED August 2013

(Originally written 8/2011)

"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  Joshua 24:15



Trooper John

There once was a young man who came to a point in his life when he knew he had to make a decision.  He had a great future ahead of him as a career patrolman, albeit, a dangerous and difficult future, full of life or death decisions and actions, but a rewarding career and the fulfilment of a life-long dream (at least up until that point in his life).  He was an extremely conscientious officer, taking his position as a peace-keeper and people protector very seriously.  No crisis call was too hard for him. He was right there, "Johnny on the spot", literally, when the calls came.  He risked life and limb to get to the accident victims as quickly as possible without jeopardizing other innocent people's lives in the process.  He was a natural born patrolman, and he actually enjoyed the thrill and excitement of the chase and the sirens blaring.    But there came a day when the Trooper had to make a choice....Like a siren's call it came to him, through a series of frightening events and different signposts along the highway of his life, he realized that he was being groomed and prepared to be a different kind of peace-keeper...a peace"maker", if you will, a new type of "life-saver".  Yes, as the newpaper article below describes quite well, "He Traded His Badge for the Bible."   
(double-click on picture to enlarge to read, then
back arrow to return to blog)
  So, you may ask, "Did the road get easier or safer for travel in this new life?"  Well, not exactly.  The road to the ministry was full of dangerous potholes and detours, some which threatened the lives of our precious children and the sanctity of our home itself...the very home in which we had vowed together like Joshua, the leader of the Israelites who led them into the promised land,
"But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
There were many days in which this "trooper" for the Lord and his young family longed to turn back and "go back to Egypt", just like the Israelites did when things got tough and there was not enough meat to eat and money to pay the bills and people were reviling and ridiculing us for our choice of the "narrow way".  When our children were injured both physically by accident and even in some ways emotionally by cruel and thoughtless people we longed to scoop them up and carry them away to a place of safety and security and yes, even prosperity so they wouldn't have to suffer.  I admit it, we are human.  We felt the pain of frustration, anger, hurt, and even pride.  But for some reason, God would not let us go back.  He said,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." II Corinthians 12:9
I wish I could say that I was as strong in my faith as the Apostle Paul and that I could cheerfully say, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (II Corinthians 12:10)
But there were many days that I didn't like being made stronger...I didn't want to see my children go through such difficult times because of the choices we had made...and see my husband oftentimes humiliated by people who thought they were God's ambassadors to keep him humble and poor, and yet, how could  I/we turn back? We took our calling very seriously...and the words of Jesus in Luke 9:62, which said,
"No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Please don't misunderstand me...I am not saying that all of our thirty-some years of ministry were awful and terrible...no, quite the contrary.  There were many, many years of joy and blessing and honor and peace. They were the best years and the worst years...but they were exactly where we belonged.  Yes, God did give us the grace that was sufficient for us.  He did help us to grow stronger in the process.  He took us through some deep valleys, but also placed us on some high mountaintops.  Sometimes the road was rough and perilous, sometimes it was smooth and pleasant.  Whichever the case, I can honestly say, God was always with us. He has never left us nor forsaken us.

I go back to the book of Joshua again, this time to the first chapter and the ninth verse...and this verse became my life verse throughout those years of journeying through what seemed like the wilderness in many ways...
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Yes, we have traveled down a long road, actually now for forty-two (updated 2013: Forty-Four) years together as man and wife.  We are not currently serving in a church ministry as before, but we still have servants' hearts.  We actually long to end out our days working together again in some ministry capacity...but that is for God to decide.  He knows what is best for us.  I can tell you one thing, God's Word is true and He is faithful.  He IS with us, and has ALWAYS been with us, and He will NEVER, EVER leave us, wherever we may go.



Rev. and Mrs. John Steiner, 1977
At our first church pastoral position


2013: John and Pam (front row)
2 of our sons: Benton and Scott (back row)

Our extended family in Maine:
Our son Matthew and his wife Nicole and our grandson Noah
P.S.:  As I write this updated post in August of 2013, we are in the process of contemplating the very real possibility that God may indeed be opening another door of opportunity for us to enter back into 'full time' ministry. Thankfully, it would not require a move to a new location...just a little
further drive to church than where we currently
worship.  Please be in prayer for us as we seek
God's face in this venture. Only God knows what
is best for us and all concerned...and we don't want
to step out of HIS will for us.  Thank you!

6 comments:

  1. This is very meaningful to me right now, cousin.

    I'm not being called to the ministry but I feel that I may be being called to "up the ante" as it were in my walk with the Lord..and I'm scared, excited and everything in between.

    Thanks for the story and the verses. They are going to make this decision that I am in the process of making be the right one.

    John

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  2. Doesn't God always seem to work in mysterious ways? Your comment has taken us completely by surprise. Thank you for taking a bold step of faith in stating your current situation. Be assured, God is with you...He will never, ever leave you or forsake you...no matter what.
    God bless you, dear cousin whom we have yet to meet. We hope to correct that soon! Love in Christ, your cousin John Steiner and Pam...

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  3. What a beautiful tribute to the Lord and your life together. I feel priviledged to have been part of your ministry at the N.L.Alliance Church and to be able to say you are a long time friend and sister in the Lord. May God bless and use His Word as you continue to blog and tell your story.

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  4. Dear Sheri, Thank you for those kind words. I can honestly say that our days at New London were part of the "best of days" for us. You and Toby and family were a big part of that time of blessing for us. Praying for you still today. May God continue to bring you strength and healing each day. Your sister in Christ, Pam.

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  5. Pam, I am so glad the Lord has allowed our paths to cross in this medium of blogging! Thank you for sharing your heart here...what a treasure to find this precious testimony today. God's ways are not our ways (and aren't we glad about that!), but when our hearts are submitted to His will He promises to make our crooked paths straight. It will be exciting to watch, wait, and pray with you about how He might direct you next. Our daughter and son-in-law were missionaries in Mexico City for 12 years before they were given clear direction from the Lord to not return due to some health issues. That was 8 years ago next month and it was one of the hardest things they had to submit to because a part of them will always be forever in Mexico City. However it doesn't mean that God does not continue to use them...just as I know He continues to use you and your husband. Godspeed to you, my new friend!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement here tonight. And especially pray about our "future"...we are asking the Lord to guide our steps as He desires. And if He chooses not to lead us in that way, we will trust Him no matter what. I will pray for your daughter and son in law as well as the Lord leads them.
      Yes, this blogging thing is a true blessing from the Lord. So many wonderful people here, like you!
      Thank you again for being my new friend as well!!!

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