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If the Lord is willing, I will be preaching from 1 Samuel 3 this Sunday night.

While working through the text this Monday, I remembered something that I hadn’t thought about lately.

This text played a significant role in my call to the ministry.

Here’s what happened.

It was late summer 2002 and Mark Margis was serving as youth pastor at my home church. Our pastor, John Allen, asked Mark to preach on a Sunday night. His text was 1 Samuel 3.

Well, wouldn’t you just know that I was struggling with a call to ministry?

Mark preached about the call of God in the believer’s life. He made me absolutely miserable. I actually felt sick.

And no, it wasn’t because Mark is from Arkansas. He can’t help that.

In fact, it wasn’t Mark at all. I’ve since come to understand that God was using His Word to show me His will for my life.

God was calling me to the ministry. Specifically, he was calling me to be a pastor.

As Mark preached, God’s will became clear. But to do His will, I had to tell Donna, quit my job, and go to seminary. What if Donna wasn’t willing? What if we starved to death? What if I was a rotten preacher? What if? What if? What if?

Time may have condensed a few of these memories, but it seems like a few days later, at Olive Garden (breadsticks make everything easier), I told Donna that God was calling me into the ministry.

Would you believe she already knew and didn’t tell me?

The nerve of that woman.

So, the Sunday after Olive Garden, Donna and I told our family and I made my call public on a Sunday night.

About six weeks later, I began working on my M.Div. at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.

Now, twelve years later, I have been a pastor for almost ten years and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Thank God for preaching that makes people sick and miserable.

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