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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
              Friday, October 19 2001 

Memoirs—calling to ministry

Continuing yesterday's answers to question s about my earlier career in the ministry....Was I "nudged" into it, or was it a call from God?

My answer: both, but not the kind of nudging the writer described later in her questions. I expect that my mother prayed that I'd become a minister, but I don't remember her ever saying she wanted that. She did let me and Gary (the only kids still home at the time) know that she believed our relationship with God was the first priority in life and set an example that convinced us she believed it herself.

I announced by age 8 that I wanted to become a Baptist preacher in the tradition of Mr. Fargo, described last week. I'm sure my certitude about that affected the rest of my life...more than any direct influence by my mother. Dad certainly had no interest in my becoming a preacher, as he was not a church-goer (though he'd have probably allowed that it would be better, and smarter, than becoming a coal miner like him).

As for the second part of the question, the "calling," I've always been and still remain a strong believer in Providence, by which I mean God leads through the circumstances we find ourselves in, especially if we're seeking His leading. By halfway through high school I wanted a career in journalism, more enticed by the influence of Andrew Rogalski (the then-editor of the Journal and my mentor) than the nearly forgotten formation of Fargo.

Furthermore, my grades in Latin, and even Spanish, didn't bode well for seminary Greek and Hebrew courses, required for ministerial ordination. I became less sure than I was at age 8 of my calling. However, also before graduating I became active in the Reformation Movement and while I was at Johnstown College/Pitt and the editor of the Journal, I organized the western Pennsylvania chapter of International Christian Youth, the movement's youth expression, bringing its leader for a rally at a Baptist church in Indiana.

That contact led him to recommend me for the job as managing editor of his father's weekly newspaper, the Christian Beacon, an offer I couldn't and wouldn't refuse. To me at the time, that was the equivalent of being asked, if a devout Catholic, to work in the Vatican. This was a totally persuasive indication of God's moving, Providence, calling me into ministry, but a journalistic ministry rather than parish leadership. I resigned the Journal after less than three years in its fulltime employe, moving to Collingswood and Cape May, New Jersey, for my new duties at the Christian Beacon. I enrolled in a summer accelerated Hebrew class in a Philadelphia seminary a few weeks later, finding it much more enjoyable and comprehensible than high school Latin.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Birds and bees?

Little Lucy ran out to the backyard where her father was working on the grill and asked him, "Daddy, what's sex?"

Nervous about the question but feeling that it must be time, her father sat her down and told her all about the birds and the bees. He explained about how women and men were different, how girls go through puberty and menstruation. Seeing that she was fascinated by the conversation and listening intently, he expanded into a wide variety of related topics, figuring she might as well be well informed. Finally finishing his lecture, he asked her, "So what made you want to know about sex?"

"Oh, Mommy said to tell you that lunch would be ready in a couple of secs."

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men in easy chairs. Success is costly.

—A. W. Tozer, adapted
Sent by Jim Martin

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