Any of us involved in ministry and/or public speaking are well aware that no matter how well prepared we are for ‘ministry’, God can have other plans. Sometimes those plans remind us that it really isn’t about us, or our material. It’s about people and relationships.

 

I had the privilege of ministering at LIFE 24/7 again on Saturday night. Shortly into the service I became aware that the real ministry that night was not going to be the material prepared by Mike Fisk. The real ministry was going to be done by the Holy Spirit of God working through a bunch of ex-cons trying to make a new start in life.

 

LIFE 24/7, formerly Discipleship House, is a recovery home for men who are overcoming a variety of addictions and either just coming out of prison or landed at LIFE 24/7 instead of going to prison. Either way, these are guys who know the rough side of life and are all about second chances.

 

I recently listened to the testimonies of a few of these guys and was amazed at the stories of broken relationships, violence and dysfunctional families these guys had come from. These are guys that are living proof that Jesus Christ changes lives and that second chances are a normal part of his working in men.

 

Tonight’s service was led by Dillon. Dillon has a passion for Jesus and a desire to learn everything he can about the Bible, the Christian faith and how to help others change their lives. He has a passion for God and compassion for people. This was his first time leading the service. He was the fledgling Pastor Randy chose to be pushed out of his comfort zone and into the limelight. He handled it well and I now refer to him as ‘Pastor Dillon’. While he isn’t real comfortable in the position, he has something every minister needs to have in order to be effective. Dillon has passion, and passion beats technique every time.

 

After our time of Praise and Worship, and before I was to speak on how each of us can live ‘Grace-fully in God’s Silence’, Dillon asked Adah to come forward. He’d told me this was going to happen earlier, so I was expecting it. Adah was going to leave her position of ‘house mom’ at LIFE 24/7. What Dillon didn’t tell me (and he couldn’t know) was how emotional the ‘good byes’ would be.

 

One by one, each of the eleven guys thanked Adah for being the inspiration all of them needed to believe in themselves. For one man, Adah was the ‘mom I never had’. Another shared that his grandmother had died recently, and Adah was his ‘adopted’ grandma. Still another said thank you to Adah for ‘saving his nephew’s life’. I watched these guys say thank you one by one and there wasn’t a one of them that had a dry eye.  

 

It was a stirring reminder that the real change in lives comes from the people in the background, doing the mundane things in life. We speakers/teachers/ pastors get the ‘upfront’ attention, but life change comes after the curtain falls.

 

So there I was all ready to speak about how God can seem silent and far away. But before I could get up to share that message, we’d all heard our Heavenly Father loud and clear, and through the life of his faithful servant, Adah, we’d seen His face.

 

Thanks to the guys of LIFE 24/7 and Adah for your ministry to me on Saturday night. I can’t wait to join with you once again!

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