Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rcalling God's Goodness 10

Earl Creps, who is linked in my sidebar, was the head of the Doctoral Studies Department at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, MO until recently. He and his wife, Jan, also a minister, have left their five acres of land and lovely home and their nice position at AGTS, and have started travelling to raise funds to begin a campus church in Berkeley, California. Dr. Earl was the speaker at the conference I attended Monday and Tuesday. He and Jan shared their story, a humorous and interesting account of how God led them one step at a time. Some of the things that happened to confirm this new direction were absolutely uncanny.

It started me thinking. Today I am reminding myself of times in my life when I was seeking the will of God and there seemed to be little signposts appearing along the way. Some will call them coincidences, but I choose to call them God. If I'm wrong, no big deal, but I do not want to cheapen the awareness that God Almighty actually loves and cares for me by calling what seems to be the work of God's hand simply "a strange coincidence." I'll share just three of those small signposts, from a time many years ago.
If you have read previous posts in my little series, you know that I was discouraged from seeking ministerial credentials. It took a while for me to see that I had been given wrong direction, and to work up the courage to approach the issue again. There was a deadline for beginning the process. As it approached, I prayed more fervently.
Two days before my application was due, one of my husband's "pastor magazines" arrived in the mail. The theme of the issue? "Women in Ministry." Every article related to that topic. On the cover was a picture of a woman in a suit, holding a Bible. Her face was not visible, but in every other way it could have been a picture of me. Her hands, her Bible, even the plum color of her suit looked like me.
It was a push that made me decide to proceed. I thought, "What harm can it do just to take the test?" I passed the test with a 100%! The district superintendent later told me he could nor remember anyone having passed with 100% before. I took that as another nudge. I could have just assumed that it pointed to my brilliance, but I knew better.
The interviews and screening process proceeded, and all went well, but there was one more problem. The candidates were asked to wear a dark suit. I did not have a dark suit, and I did not have the money to purchase one. About a week before the ordination service I went into a local "Cheapo Clothes Mart" and high on the back wall hung a display of winter suits, under a big banner that read "BLOWOUT CAREER DRESSING SALE!-- Everything 75% Off!"
I got my dark clothes for a price I could manage. I was the only woman in a group of about 30, to be credentialed that year. I've purchased better suits in the years since, but never one that moved me to tears like that one did.

4 comments:

HeyJules said...

I can never get enough of stories like these. Thank you so much for sharing them.

cheesehead said...

You are loved, sister.

DannyG said...

I love it when a plan comes together!

Earl said...

Thanks so much for the shout out on your blog. I totally enjoyed the conference! Earl