“Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord.
And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, because the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”1 Samuel 3:19-21
It was the summer of 1979. I was a summer missionary assigned to the Kansas/Nebraska Baptist Convention. My assignment was to serve on a music team consisting of two girls and two guys. We provided music for VBS programs, lake resort worship services, summer camps, and church worship services.
We all arrived in Topeka, KS traveling from Alabama, South Carolina, and Texas. Orientation was a blur, then we embarked on our ten-week adventure. Every place in which we served proved to be an opportunity to see God’s faithfulness as we lived in people’s homes and engaged in their lives for one week before we were off to the next assignment.
Halfway through the summer, I received news that my grandmother had passed away. She had been ill, and I had said goodbye to her prior to leaving home. The people in the church we were serving that week heard this news and bought a roundtrip airline ticket allowing me to attend her funeral. That was an unexpected blessing and an opportunity for God to demonstrate His provision and faithfulness to many, especially me.
The last time I visited my grandmother prior to my mission trip, I was torn between wanting to be with her and my family and going to serve the Lord those ten weeks. She was a strong Christian and had been a significant influence in my life. I knew she wanted me to go and we were both at peace as to where she was going.
It was during that summer missions experience that I settled the issue of God calling me into vocational ministry. When I returned home, I shared the news with my parents. They were encouraging, and for the first time, they shared with me that when I was an infant they had dedicated me to the Lord for whatever He chose for my life. There was never any pressure on me from them to make that decision. It was the result of God working all of these things together according to His will.
God called Samuel at a young age and equipped him to serve by having his mother dedicate him to live with God’s prophet Eli in the temple of the Lord. Whenever the Lord may call on you to serve Him in any capacity, be assured that He who calls you will also bring it to pass (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Questions for Thought
- Is there something in your life today that you believe God wants you to surrender to Him?
- How might your obedience to God be an influence and leave a legacy that will benefit others going forward?
Child Connection Questions
God’s plan is for all family members to work together so that God is honored. Choose your favorite board game and enjoy playing together as a family.
Begin to pray today that God will use your life to influence others to follow Him. Share your decision with someone you trust.
Minister to Senior Adults
Jim is passionate about working with Boomers and Seniors because they are the best! He is encouraged by their energy and hearts for the Lord and reaching others for Christ. When Jim isn’t working he enjoys being with his family, preferably at the beach! He also enjoys musical theatre and the symphony. Jim and his wife, Nan, have been married over 35 years and have four adult children.