I’ve been talking to a friend who has just received kind of a “right hook to the chin” from his job this week. He loves and follows Jesus, so I am confident God has plan, but things certainly seem to be “heading in the wrong direction” from our human perspective.
As I was talking to him I realized that it has been predominately the times I have “failed” or “things haven’t gone my way” that God has used to guide me to this life that I now live and love. So, even though this is probably the last way I should “introduce myself” to all of you new to the actionchurch blog, (thanks for reading by the way!) here goes…in resume form:
Education: I dropped out of a state university with a full ride (housing, food, everything) academic scholarship. Although this may not be my smartest move…it did prepare me for a life of entrepreneural activity…otherwise, I found out I could earn whatever the prevailing minimum wage was.
Music: My efforts to become a “rock star” have not worked out very well. I have played with some very talented musicians, met some life long friends, recorded some tunes, but to date I have made about $7 as a professional musician.
Sales: After leaving college and getting married I decided that sales was the way for me to earn a living. I somehow convince a desparate sales manager I was a good candidate. I cut my hair, bought a couple suits and a used BMW and headed out to be the greatest saleman ever. I wasnt. In fact I pretty much sucked at sales…still do.
MLM: During this time I was convince that maybe Multi-level-marketing was the answer for our struggling finances…it wasn’t. I couldn’t “sell” as documented above, and my friends were as “broke” as we were. So much for making “10 million a month” in my spare time…
Contracting. After all my other “wrong turns” in the entrepreneurial arena I still dreamed of starting a business. In 1995 I saw an opportunity to start a renovation contracting company in Owings Mills MD. Unfortunately this came at a time when I finally had a construction Job that “almost” paid the bills. By God’s grace the company took off immediately. I learned from this two things. 1 Never give up. 2. You will have to give up security to achieve a dream.
Of course after several years of financial success(this is a “failure resume” after all) I made some bad hiring and strategy decisions and nearly lost it all. We went for nearly 9 months with only bills…no income. I learned several things from this experience. 1. God is faithful. We had become faithful in tithing and giving and we never missed a mortgage payment. 2. Listen to those who know more about an area than you! I finally realized that Michele was correct in wanting to be debt free. I turned the finances of the business completely over to her. She was successful in her mission and today we are financially prepared to launch actionchurch because of her vision. 3. Learn from your mistakes…but don’t quit! I relaunched my business as a painting contractor and I am thankful to say it still provides for us today!.
Family. Most of you reading this are wondering how I still have a family…so do I. I have failed as a husband and father by believing the lie society tells us that “providing money for the family is more important than spending time with the.” I have been a workaholic. I also believed that lie of the church that “serving the local church somehow exempts you from being with your family” I have repented. I have been given another chance. So actionchurch, I will take Mondays off to spend time with Michele and Reagan. I will have no more than one (1) night meeting a week….period. I may fail (that would be new) at being a pastor …but I will not fail again at spending time with those I love.
Ministry. I have volunteered in ministry nearly all my adult life. I have filled the roles of worship leader, youth pastor, floor sweeper, you name it. I love to serve in the church. In 2005 I was ordained and accepted a position of Associate Minister at a local church. In spite of the huge pay cut I felt that it was what I had been preparing for all my life. I was finally able to put all my effort into bringing those outside the kingdom into the local church. Unfortunately, one year later, It got me fired. Believing and saying the things I say every day on this blog made me unacceptable as a minister of a church. (Looking back, It’s more of a miracle that I was hired than fired) Being fired felt like a fish being taken out of his fishbowl and flushed down the toilet. It stunk. It was scary and embarrassing, but now that I have “made it out of the sewer and into the ocean” I would never want to go back to the fishbowl. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to be even a small part of actionchurch.
So there it is, my “failure resume”. It’s incomplete due to space considerations. How is your “failure resume”? I hope it’s shorter than mine. The big question is this: How are you letting God use your “failures” for his Glory? It means everything!